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Economic Times Best Healthcare Brand
High cholesterol, also known as hypercholesterolemia, is a condition where is an excess of cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is produced naturally by the liver and also found in certain foods. It plays an important role in the body, such as helping to build cell membranes and producing hormones. However, having high levels of cholesterol in the blood can be dangerous and can lead to various health problems, including heart disease, stroke and many health problems.
There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
LDL cholesterol is often referred to as "bad" cholesterol because it can build up in the walls of arteries, leading to blockages and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
HDL cholesterol is often referred to as "good" cholesterol because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream and can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
High cholesterol can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Eating foods that are high in saturated and trans fats can increase cholesterol levels in the blood.
High cholesterol can be inherited from parents or other family members.
Lack of exercise
Being physically inactive can contribute to high cholesterol levels.
Age and gender
Cholesterol levels tend to increase with age, and men tend to have higher cholesterol levels than women.
Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and kidney disease, can increase cholesterol levels.
Some medications, such as corticosteroids and beta-blockers, can increase cholesterol levels.
What are the warning signs of high cholesterol? They include high blood pressure, chest pain, yellowish deposit, hands and feet numbness, shortness of breath and more.
Here are 6 common warning signs that may indicate high cholesterol;
Chest pain or angina can be a warning sign of high cholesterol, as high levels of cholesterol can lead to the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which can restrict blood flow to the heart.
Yellowish deposits on the skin, known as xanthomas, can be a sign of high cholesterol. These deposits can occur on the eyelids, hands, feet, or other areas of the body.
High cholesterol can cause the narrowing of the arteries, which can restrict blood flow to the extremities, leading to numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
If high cholesterol is left untreated, it can lead to the development of atherosclerosis, which can cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
Chest discomfort, such as pressure, fullness, or squeezing, can be a warning sign of high cholesterol, as it can indicate the development of angina or a heart attack.
High cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure, as the build-up of plaque in the arteries can restrict blood flow and cause the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. High blood pressure can also increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other complications.
Apart from these symptoms, some physical features, such as xanthomas, can be a sign of high cholesterol. However these are not always present, and their absence does not necessarily mean that a person does not have high cholesterol. The most reliable way to diagnose high cholesterol is through blood tests, which can measure the levels of different types of cholesterol in the blood.
Therefore, if you are experiencing any of these warning signs, speak to your healthcare provider, who can perform blood test to determine your cholesterol levels. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking, can help reduce the risk of high cholesterol and related health problems. Additionally, it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked regularly to be aware of the risk factors and to make lifestyle changes to manage cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.